Expelled and exposed: who pledges allegiance and who pledges disobedience?

Despite ISIS’s futile attempts to hold onto the little territory that remains in their possession, it appears that they have a new crisis on their hands; that of disobedience towards the emirs. Such an issue is one that only their elders can solve.

In a series of leaks, numerous members of ISIS are said to have been expelled, with their punishment serving as a warning to the rest.

Amongst these transgressors are:

Abu Khaled al-Shami, “recently transferred from Idlib province to al-Khair” and Ammar al-Karrar, of the Prisoners and Martyrs section, in what is inferred to be due to a lack of obedience and listening.

Abu Rabah al-Shamali, “a former worker in Idlib province” whom they warn against and are told “not to address him or communicate with him, he is a man who is a suspicious liar and has been exposed. He and others like him are more dangerous to Islam as he communicates with brothers and sisters and talks to them on very dangerous topics.”

Dissent in the ranks persists amongst those who remain, with lust, disregard for security matters, and the leaking of official documents all suggested as sources of tension and worry.

For anyone who has been following the actions of ISIS over the years, such behavior should come as no surprise. However, why did they recruit such ill-suited members in the first place? And who will be next to go? Will punishments be levied at the lowly fighter who stole a loaf of bread to supplement his meager salary? Or will it be against the one who spoke too much on social media just to impress his friends?

More importantly, who will actually be left in Daesh? Are they so awash with supporters that they can afford to be so discerning?

How long until what was once a force to be reckoned with will instead just be a mound of bones in the desert? Only time will tell.

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